Monday, November 02, 2009

Prayer 101

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 

Isaiah 37:14 "And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD."
Have you ever received a nasty letter? A nasty letter has little class, but a faceless and nameless email has no class! We can push delete on our computers and the faceless email is deleted, but for King Hezekiah, there was no deleting the nasty letter he received from the King of Assyria. However, in verse 14, we see a pretty good definition of prayer: "and [he] spread it before the LORD."
Some good people think that prayer is a meritorious ritual, something that impresses God. But prayer is really a matter of survival. You need something that you don't have but God does.  In light of the threats from Sennacherib, King Hezekiah called God three things. Let's look at each of them briefly:
First, Hezekiah addresses God as the "LORD of hosts." He was in essence calling Him the General of His army. Assyria was a powerful nation, but Hezekiah knew that the "LORD of hosts" was the General of a greater heavenly army. Jehovah God was more powerful than Assyria.
Secondly, Hezekiah calls God the "God of Israel." That is, He is a personal God. By itself, does the fact that God is powerful give you comfort? Just because God is more powerful may not comfort you, but if that powerful God is your God, that is encouraging!
Thirdly, Hezekiah says, "Thou art the God, even thou alone. . . ." God is powerful, personal, and preeminent! He is the God. The sin of idolatry is mentioned quite often in the Bible. A false god made by hands or imaginations cannot hear, speak, or see. But Hezekiah prays in verse 17, "Incline thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open thine eyes, O LORD, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God." He was asking the God of Heaven to answer his request!
The wonderful truth we can also see in Isaiah 37 is that you do not have to "frame" things to God. You can come to God like Hezekiah and say, "Of a truth, LORD. . . ." No scheming or manipulating-He admitted what God already knew. It was true, and Hezekiah spread it before the Lord!
You can come to God in confidence when you can tie your work to God's purpose. Sometimes you may not know God's will in a particular matter, but if you are doing God's work, He has obligated Himself to provide. He has commanded you to ask; so ask reverently and humbly, but also ask boldly because God wants you to!
Hezekiah literally took the letter he received and spread it before the Lord. His illustration is instructive to us to simply "spread" whatever it is on your heart and mind before the Lord. Is anything too hard for God? Is anything too big? Is anything too small? Then ask the powerful, personal, and preeminent God for what you need!

Prayer Requests
1. Revival services tonight in Carrollton, IL
2. BRR Couples' Retreat this week (11/5-7) 
Check for revival services and events in your area on our website:
Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

No comments: